, Volume 112, Issue 2, pp 159-169
Date: 16 Sep 2012

Engineering production of antihypertensive peptides in plants

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To date, a number of antihypertensive peptides (AHPs) have been identified. Most of these are derived from proteins present in common edible consumables, including milk, egg, and plant foods. Consumption of these foods serves as means of AHP delivery and thus contributing favorable health benefits. It is hypothesized that food crops, either over-expressing AHP precursor proteins or producing particular peptides as heterologous components, may serve as viable vehicles for production and delivery of functional foods as alternative hypertension therapies. In recent years, genetic engineering efforts have been undertaken to add value to functional foods. Pioneering approaches have been pursued in several crop plants, such as rice and soybean. In this review, a summary of current tools used for discovery of new AHPs, as well as strategies and perspectives of capitalizing on these AHPs in genetic engineering efforts will be presented and discussed. The implications of these efforts on the development of functional foods for preventing and treating hypertension are also presented.